Artist Research

Martina Mullaney, ITV Wales TX: June 2002

Artist Research


Martina Mullaney

Working in night shelters and hostels for the homeless, Irish artist, Martina Mullaney produced a series of photographic works of these environments which respond metaphorically to notions of isolation and remoteness.

Her images have a horizontal line where the edge of the bed meets the wall which is consistent throughout the series. By photographing from low down close to the bed, her images have an up close feel, drawing the viewer into the image. I feel like i can almost touch the wrinkles in the bed sheets. This is the kind of impact I would like to get from my images of the homeless. I like the straight on composition and the simplicity of the images. We don't need to see a homeless person to know what the series is about, a bed can easily narrate this.


Boris Mikhailov

Mikhailov is considered one of the leading photographers from the countries that formerly made up the Soviet Union. Although rooted in historical context, his work incorporates the deeply personal narratives including topics such as humor, sex, vulnerability, aging, and death—of his subjects. Although this is a personal, intermit way of photographing the homeless, it is not the angle that I would like to take for this project


Don Mccullin

Don McCullin talks about his photographs of homeless people in east London from the 1960s onward.


Moises Saman

I like the wide angle approach of Samans images. They help the viewer experience the landscape for ourselves whilst also telling a greater story. 


David Hoffman

David hoffman has covered the subject of homelessness and from many angles. I find his coverage very interesting because it links in well with his other subject matter to form a comprehensive study of socio economic issues in the recent history of britain. In 1969 Hoffman left university , moving into the myrtle street squat , in whitechapel ,london because he had no rent to pay ,living here allowed him to dedicating himself to becoming a photographer. living and getting kicked out with the squatters i feels gives Hoffmans photos a unique perspective and angle. as he has experienced becoming homeless at the hands of the authorities

Another series of shots that i feel are highly relevant to my project ,are his collection of shots from st Botolph’s Crypt a wet shelter run out of the crypt of a east london church,that  provided tea sandwiches and shelter to the needy on weekday evenings and weekends , drug taking and alcohol consumption was unrestricted in the crypt , hoffman described it as a ” scary place mostly alcoholic and or addicted  badly damaged men and women it was very loud and chaotic singing shouting swearing the thick stink of old clothes and rarely washed bodys mixed with meths cider and piss , frequent violence , frequent threats of violence.

His shots from Crisis at Christmas charity shelter for homeless are another important set of shots relevant to my subject , over the christmas period a lot of shelters and hostels close leading to the homeless having no where to spend christmas ,  the charity crisis set up shelters in abandoned churches and other suitable places to feed and care for the hundreds of displaced homeless over the festive period. the following are some of Hoffmans shots of this

 Hoffman has also covered homelessness in the most literal sense by photographing subjects on the streets using a combination of obviously consenting photography where he has asked the subjects if its okay to photograph them and other instances where he hasn’t i think this is relevant . people generally choose to ignore homeless people as hoffman has done not asking for some of thiose in his shots permission to be photographed.


Angus Boulton

Angus Boulton's photography has a very similar feel to my images. Several of Boulton's images are taken of a frontal square and photographed from low down to great more of an intermit experience of the photograph.


Jim Goldberg


John Conn


Anthoney Hernandez

Landscapes for the homeless


Kike Arnal - In the Shadow of Power: Poverty in Washington, D.C.

I first came to know Washington, D.C., during an assignment in 2002 to photograph the city’s decaying public library system. The problem, I soon realized, was part of a much larger pattern of urban neglect, and the next year I started an in-depth photographic study of Washington. The poverty I encountered in many of D.C.’s inner-city neighborhoods reminded me of the marginal barrios back in my home country of Venezuela and elsewhere in South America. As an outsider, it was stunning to see such conditions in America’s capital, perhaps the most powerful city in the world. While its monuments and government halls are icons of U.S. supremacy, the homelessness, violence, and poverty that exist in their shadow reveal another America, one of economic inequality and racial disparity. 

With a population of roughly 550,000 people, the District of Columbia is a small city by world standards. But it is a city of extremes, of great power and severe deprivation. Washington has the country’s highest rates of teen pregnancy, infant mortality, and HIV infection. Over 20 percent of the city’s residents, and 30 percent of its children, live in poverty. 

Washington’s explosive growth during the past few years contrasts starkly with these statistics. With more affluent people flooding the housing market, long-time residents have been forced to move to surrounding communities outside the city, such as Prince George and Montgomery counties in Maryland.  In too many cases, families have wound up on the street with no place else to go. As in most international cities, Washington encompasses a growing gap between the haves and have-nots. 

Many Americans and international visitors alike seem to have an incomplete understanding of Washington, a center of global influence that has failed many of its own communities. No doubt the situations I have documented can be found in nearly any major city, but in the seat of power of the richest nation in the world, such images are all the more troubling.

Kike Arnal, September 2006


Shannon Jensen

Shannon Jensen was in South Sudan, documenting an influx of 30,000 refugees from neighbouring Sudan, where she made this body of work called "The Long Walk". She photographed pair after pair of dusty, worn down and ill-fitting shoes. The photographs instantly raise questions. How did the shoes get that way? What happened to the people who walked in them? 

With these images it is all about the narrative they tell, rather than the quality of each photograph. A photojournalist's job is not to show off with fancy pictures but to tell the story as effectively as possible. "The Long Walk" has been published around the world and gained Jensen international recognition. The series inspires me to focus my images of the homeless on their items and belongings to tell the narrative.